For those of us opting to stay in Sydney this summer – as opposed to traversing the globe – there’s actually more than enough to sustain an entire month or two of holiday time in this great harbourside city of ours. And – perhaps surprisingly – a lot of which that don’t involve going to the beach.
Here are ten things to do in Sydney this summer other than getting sandy.
We’re calling it – tacky party boats have just about had their day. Enter Hamptons Sydney: a boutique luxury vessel that, as the name suggests, exudes premium coastal vibes. With a limited capacity of just 100 people, the floating pontoon holds the exclusivity card close to its chest to ensure that everyone enjoys a boozy few hours on the best harbour in the world with just that extra touch of class. With live music, DJ’s spinning tunes all afternoon, and bars both indoors and on the roof’s sundeck, there are few places we’d rather be during Sydney’s summer.
Sydney’s New 80km Coastal Walking Track
The City of Sydney has just opened an 80-kilometre urban walking track around Sydney’s iconic harbour foreshore linking two of the city’s greats – Bondi and Manly. Aside from the obvious highlights – those being the likes of Sydney’s Opera House and the Harbour Bridge – walkers can also enjoy secluded coves and beaches in Vaucluse, the fascinating military tunnels and fortifications of Georges Head, as well as the Spit Bridge. This is a great way to kill time, as the 80 kilometres will surely set you back at least a few days.
Happy Hour At Opera Bar
From the hours of 5 PM to 6 PM every weekday from now until the end of summer, Sydney’s famed Opera Bar is hosting a very happy ‘Sunset Hour’ with $9 pints and $10 spritzes to get the party juices flowing. Start your school night blowout the right way.
Field Day Sydney
New Year’s Day in Sydney wouldn’t be the same without Field Day. On January 1st, the likes of Disclosure, Skepta, Dom Dolla, and Claptone will all be contained within The Domain’s prime location – smack bang in the centre of the harbour city. Third release tickets for Sydney’s antidote to the entire panoply of NYE drawbacks are still available for $175 + BF, cop them below.
The Icebergs x Ketel One Botanical Pop-up
Bondi’s most iconic destination, the Icebergs Terrace, has been transformed into the Icebergs Terrace x Ketel One Botanical pop-up this summer; a beachside oasis celebrating the launch of the new Ketel One Botanical, a spirit-based drink made with vodka distilled botanicals and infused with natural fruit. Open every day from 12.30 PM to 8 PM until the end of March. If you’re in the east, this is where you need to be.
Jump Rock, Macquarie Pass National Park
Tucked into a lush gully within Macquarie Pass National Park near Wollongong on the NSW South Coast, this little watering hole ticks all the day-trip boxes. Combining deep freshwater swimming pools, natural water slides, and stunning scenery, ‘Jump Rock’ is a local summer institution. There are three main ledges, ranging from about 3-9 metres, accessible by a mild 1.5km bushwalk starting at the edge of the car park at the bottom of Macquarie Pass. Roughly 90 minutes drive from Sydney, we’d recommend you get there extremely early to avoid crowds. An added bonus, however, is that the tour buses can’t get to it easily.
Art Gallery of NSW’s ‘Art After Hours’ Experience
Putting the excessive alcohol consumption and time in the sun aside, it might be worth topping up on your culture fix at some point over summer – and what better place to escape the head than the Art Gallery of NSW’s ‘Art After Hours’ experience? Open every Wednesday evening until 10 PM, the evening features weekly talks, workshops, and special tours of current exhibitions.
Patrón Pop-up Bar At The MCA
Located at the front of one of Australia’s most iconic sites on the edge of Sydney Harbour, the Patrón Pop-up at the Museum of Contemporary Art is a bar inspired by the liquid gold that is Patrón Tequila. Those that drop-in will be able to sample signature cocktails, sharable jugs, DJ sets, bottle art Sunday’s, VR experiences, and more until February 16 of 2020. An easy date night one-two.
Taronga Zoo Wildlife Retreat
The recently opened Wildlife Retreat at Taronga is an elegantly designed overnight eco-retreat on Cammeraigal country. The first of its kind, the Wildlife Retreat offers guests an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy a luxury sleepover with Australia’s unique wildlife and support conservation projects to save these animals. The Wildlife Retreat features five environmentally-sensitive, sustainably-designed lodges. As an added bonus, the restaurant, Me-Gal, also boasts some of the most spectacular views in all of Sydney while slicing, dicing, and serving up fresh local produce using native ingredients.
LilyPad Palm Beach
Reachable by boat or seaplane, Lilypad redefines seaside luxury. Though it’s small in size and non-descript when viewed from a distance, the luxury floating villa boasts amenities to boot. A stay at Lilypad includes a personalised concierge, luxury vehicle transfers within 20 kilometres of Sydney’s CBD and a boat to explore surrounding beaches. An onboard chef can be requested to prepare exceptional meals for an extra fee. Not to be forgotten, there’s a 40-bottle wine cellar just waiting to be cracked into. It’s the perfect place for overnight getaways or intimate, luxurious lunches.